Saturday, March 1, 2014

Good Corrugated Atlas Design

Good corrugated design here but unfinished.

Excellent technical detail on Atlas shelters above and below ground. The general layout and architecture of everything is superb within the cost limits they operate inside of. I prefer steel bracing in the underflooring and stainless steel struts in the uprights because it lasts forever unlike wood. I also want to avoid treated wood and laminates because the offgassed products over the years can create a very toxic environment. It is worth noting that if your shelter already uses these materials you can neutralize most of these poisons through ozonation of the shelter when not occupied. 

My next one is going to incorporate everything I have learned and then some from the previous two corrugated shelters I have constructed. I've made mistakes but the next one is going to get it right.

My next shelter is going to be 3.6 meters in diameter for headspace and is going to consist of an "H" shape (design to be posted here in the near future.) It is going to have it's own well dug in-situ and all four corners of the "H" will be sealed rooms dedicated to various functions with the environmental manager, generators, toilets and permaculture room all with their own ventilation arrangements.

Each hallway in the "H" is going to be fitted out for liveability and comfort and the entire complex underground is going to be so appealing it will be a nice place for my family to just take a vacation for the weekend in. I have already picked out the 50's style restaurant tables and padded seats I intend to install in the dining area. I am going to strive for a wide open feel with enormous room to swing your arms and a paint scheme that is pleasant and calming. I will have a Vault-OS terminal at your fingertips anywhere in the shelter for instant monitoring and control of anything at any time.

I have learned not only from my own mistakes but from the mistakes of others. I know a lot of the problems this guy in the video has had that are not mentioned but I am well acquainted with them. I won't be making them again.

The number one priority in shelter design should be liveability long term. I was heavily influenced by my hero worship of Oak Ridge laboratories when I built my last shelter to the detriment of functionality. This time I am going to be concentrating on the engineering for human beings who inhabit it above all other things. Just like the bright orange civil defense color I was using on this site the past ten years, I was more influenced by my preferences than I was by good judgement. I am changing that from now on and I am going to operate on what I have learned rather than what I necessarily prefer aesthetically.

Despite what may afford the most protection from radiation, the design of the entrances and exits are key to the usefulness of the shelter. The entrances should be designed to be convenient and accommodating as possible and then measures can be taken to increase their radiation protection. The truth is once you are 3 meters belowground all you need to do is properly shield against reflected neutrons and your shelter will be just as safe as my former design. This is best accomplished with water and metallic styrofoam to block incoming radiation from something as deadly as the neutron bomb which is guaranteed to be used in the next World War. China paid a lot of campaign money to Clinton and Gore through their Buddhist temple in California to get access to the neutron bomb. You can be certain they won't be putting conventional nuclear warheads on the tips of all those cruise missiles they are manufacturing like sausages over there. Why waste all that R&D expertise they got from research the Americans did for them over the past forty years?


PrairieSage07 said...

Is the cylinder shape preferable over a buried quonset hut style?

PrairieSage07 said...

Is the cylinder shape preferable over a quonset hut design? I am trying for a low attention grabbing design. I can get a skidloader for digging, but bringing in a giant tube... that would certainly attract attention in my area..

What about Mike Oehler PSP design?

Texas Arcane said...

Yes, a million times over.

The floorspace below becomes storage but the quonset shape internal.

A cylinder is indestructible under almost all stresses and properly backfilled with crushed rock it provides remarkable protection against radiation as little as a meter underground.

Firehold Bravo was topped by at least a meter of crushed rock and a meter of packed earth. This provides a protection factor of well over 10,000 with the right entrances. In other words, anywhere inside the shelter a person would receive 1 ten thousandth of the radiation they would receive aboveground.

Atlas knows what they are doing. They have competitors trying to run down the cylinder for a variety of reasons in favor of their conventional square box welded but those competitors have not done their research, they have just pursued a design convenient for their staff to fabricate, weld and deliver.

The cylinder is the real shape of all serious installations. The boxes are for the amateurs.

Cylinders handle all stresses much better than shapes with right angles. It is a bit more important to waterproof it correctly but otherwise the cylinder outperforms all others according to live testing under nuclear blasts and in many other situations including earthquakes.

I have had the unique idea of putting four of them in an "H" shape together, each reinforcing the other in what amounts to a square donut. I think this would be the strongest of all because compression forces have to distribute to all four cylinders together.

samhuih said...

Tex you're much smarter than I'll ever be but that doesn't mean you don't make any mistakes. A "H" pattern is a mistake. A "H" pattern is a mold/fungus haven. I know this from experience. I used to grow hydroponically in an enclosed room and the only way to get rid of mold is to circulate air. I also know from an underground concrete house built near where I live. They had to abandon it. Mold is everywhere. You can not stop it from being present. The only way to defeat it is to make it inhospitable for it to survive. If you must use round metal tubes you need to have a square or diamond (depending on how you look at it)shape. Two opposing sides of the diamond could be for air and exits. One in one out. You must have constant air circulation. I also disagree with storing food underneath the floor. No air circulation. I believe a Quonset hut is a better configuration. I fully understand a tube is stronger but do you need that strength? What's the odds of a 100K nuke directly over your shelter? As close to nil as to be non existent. You could design for 15 psi overpressure and be in tremendously good shape. Buried beneath 4 or 5 feet of earth the strength would be phenomenal. Why I think a Quonset hut is better.
1. Tubes will be magnets for mold.
2. Tubes will become severely claustrophobic. What use surviving in tortuous conditions?
3. A Quonset hut provides a large open area that can have temporary privacy areas made from quilts and frameworks. Getting ready for bed could be hanging strings, frames and quilts for bedrooms. Keep you busy.
3. Flat bottom. No trapped air spaces. Supplies on racks.
4. A circle is not million times better. Not even close to a million times better. Short of a 100K ton nuke directly overhead pressure is not the problem. Pressure drops rapidly from blast. Half circle culverts are super strong. Some shelters are made this way from corrugated sections of sheet metal just like the tubes.

samhuih said...


Now to answer PraireSage07's question about low attention. You're going to have to use concrete. There's several ways to do so. One is buy one of these expensive blow up concrete shelters.

But they're expensive.

The idea is excellent though. Notice a small squirrel cage fan can hold up a very large weight. A good form might be used billboards. They are vinyl and can be glued together to get any size. Here's a link to get some idea of how much they cost.

There's a guy who worked on housing using this idea and plastic sheeting forms.

It's amazing what can be done with "fabric formed concrete". Here's some excellent links and a video.

The basic idea. Either suspend a form or blow it up. Smaller forms could even be build like sections of a geodesic dome then bolted together. If done with a large form, spray with shotcrete in a thin coat, let dry, then spray on thicker coat with reinforcement. Let dry then spray on thicker coat with reinforcement. Water proof then cover up. Here's a good link on DIY shotcrete.

You could either get one of the small hand held, rent a bigger one or have it contracted out to get the thicker coating.

I wish to repeat. Pressure is not the problem. Don't believe me? Look at this nuke simulator and put in your city and a 100K ton nuke. The results aren't good but the 5psi over pressure radius is not as big as you think.

Metal half-circle Quonset huts can be buried many feet thick. With 4 inches of concrete over that your strength problems are solved. Radiation is not the problem. If 5 foot deep it will stop most all radiation. Dirt will do. You don't need gravel. Gravel is way expensive. $350.00 USD or more a truck load. Dirt is just as good. Ventilation is THE biggest problem.

Melonhead said...

Have you thought about connecting them like a four-hand-seat-carry (

That way, you would essentially have a center column to help support the weight of whatever shielding is above you.

Texas Arcane said...


I am listening and I think you are saying really valid things.

I already saw my last shelter ruined by mold and so I am really thinking it through this time to avoid this happening again.

You're right. If sealed tubes rely on passive ventilation it is only a matter of time before mold gets a foothold.

I have been planning that each corner of this H shape will have it's own exhaust and two redundant air intakes 12 inches wide will enter the shelter right in the middle. The blast value and pump fans will bring air into the shelter and exhaust it from four corners to relieve the pressure at all times. This time I am planning to keep power ventilating the shelter around the clock from solar even when it is not occupied. I am also going to cycle ozone from the beginning, instead of waiting until mold becomes a problem.

Your point about the floor being a bad place to store the food is probably right. I am going to avoid storing anything perishable under the floorboards. I have been thinking rows and rows of wire rack shelving so that air can circulate all around the food storage all the time. Under the floor might be a good place for tools and hardware.

If the pipe diameter is large enough, there is none of the claustrophobic ceiling business like you see in the atlas shelter. You have go out to at least 3 meters in diameter to get some headroom.

The thing about such a shelter that is attractive is that it can survive anything. A nearby ground detonation inside of a mile or an airburst directly overhead. That is pretty good insurance. You don't know for certain that Chinese ICBMs are going to be that accurate and they could be hitting all over without much precision.

August said...

I suspect the real breakthrough comes when someone figures out how to make DYI geopolymer out of local clay. Davidovits did everything to keep his process a secret- including making sure the patent paperwork didn't give anyone a real clue. He thinks a least some of the pyramid was actually just cast in place rather than quarried.
Also, can you get full spectrum sunlight in through some medium sans any potential radiation? I've seen some of these systems using fiber optic cable to pipe sunlight in. Don't know if radiation can just follow the photons in or not.

samhuih said...

The wire mesh racks is an excellent idea. I know I'm a bit obnoxious about the tubes but it only because I care. If you overspend on the tubes you're not helping your family survive. It will take away money needed for other things. I believe they're expensive,waste space and are hard to handle. You're going to have to weld them and welding thin metal is difficult. Not to mention the tin fumes are toxic. I looked at the nuke map I linked before and 1 mile away is about 20 PSI pressure from a 100K nuke. The "Nuclear War Survival Skills Manual" shows "WOOD" shelters with 50 PSI blast air vents made of old tires and 2" x 6" boards. I think you're over doing blast protection. If this is the only reason you're using tubes I would rethink it's cost effectiveness. I know you worked with them a lot so maybe that's what you feel comfortable with. But... just in case you change your mind here's an alternative,"Ceramicrete". Designed by Argonne National Laboratory to store nuclear waste! 8000 PSI strength. Super fast 30-45 minute drying time. Great for spraying. Sticks and incorporates burlap, grass or wood. Possibly used in thousands of years old Chinese temples. They chipped off the stone and found wood beams in the middle perfectly preserved. Look at this guys work with sprayed burlap hung over pipes.

Many more links including a page of links.

Here's the idea. Make a quonset hut out of a large plastic sheet say 6mil thick. Blow with fan to inflate. You need corrugations to strengthen. Just like this,

These can be made by tying ropes across the plastic form. The material to bind to will be burlap or other organic woven material laid across the plastic. Spray with ceramicrete. Sets in 25 minutes or so. Then pour the slab inside the shell. I noticed from the book N.W.S.S. that the floor during a blast goes up. To prevent this build beams of concrete in the floor before you pour. Just a ditch. Like rafters in a roof but in the floor. Pour floor. Then repeat ceramicrete blowing for the end caps of the hut and the entries. All could be made of fan blown plastic balloons to hold their shape for spraying. Then use cheaper shotcrete with metal fiber reinforcement for a 4" thick coating over the ceramicrete. Cover with dirt. Done. The great think about this is time. It's going to take a huge amount of time to screw with these tubes and making a floor with round cuts, round shelves, etc... don't get me started. :) The ceramicrete might be a problem but I know you can get someone to come in and shotcrete a thin coat, let dry, then finish with a thick coat.

samhuih said...

PrairieSage07 mentioned Mike Oehler PSP design and August mentioned geopolymers. Those and ceramic houses are some of my favorite subjects. My shelter is going to be Mike Oehler PSP design but with concrete pads instead of burying the poles.
I must have read a 100 papers on geopolymers and I have all of his books. The chemistry is too difficult. You'd have to have a lab to do it like he presents it. Here's a few formulas that are a little easier.

I called the supplier and a good source for sodium carbonate (also called soda ash or washing soda) is swimming pool supply and water treatment plants.

This formula looks like a major winner. I haven't tried it but if it works it may be the one to beat.

August said...

Thanks samhuih. I did not know about the geopolymer house blog. Part of me wonders whether I should make a copy of it, since it appears some of the stuff he links to is disappearing.